5 Goals for the New Year

Thankfully, we’ve torn off the last page of the 2020 calendar and 2021 lies before us. Will the new year be a reprieve from the chaos of the past 12 months, or will it be more of the same? We don’t know about that.

But what we do know is that King Jesus still reigns, and at the Father’s command, He will come to redeem every believer! What joy…what peace…what hope we have in this new year!

The New Testament is filled with references to Jesus’ Second Coming, and passages in the Old Testament most certainly point to it prophetically. Key passages in the New Testament gospels are:

I encourage you to spend time in those chapters to build a solid foundation about the coming again of Jesus Christ. We will build upon that foundation today by considering “5 W’s.” Perhaps these will become goals for 2021! Here they are:

Jesus said we are to watch current events in the world which predict His coming. In Matthew 16:1-4, Jesus rebuked the religious leaders because, as wise men, they could “discern the appearance of the sky” to know whether or not a storm was coming, but they could not “discern the signs of the times.” (verse 3) Jesus stood in their midst and they did not know Him. Might those who fail to “discern the signs of the times” today miss Him in the same way the religious leaders missed Him when He was among them? It is clear “religion” won’t cut it. When we know Him personally, we watch, because we discern the signs of the times and know He is coming again soon! Do you personally know Him and are you WATCHING for His return?

The Apostle Paul teaches us to wait for the coming of Jesus. The prophet Habakkuk prophesies of an “appointed time” that will not fail, yet we are to wait for it, despite seeming delays. (Habakkuk 2:3) The writer of Hebrews reiterated the same when he wrote: For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay. (Hebrews 10:37) Are you anxious, dear friend? Are you weary of what this world has to offer? WAIT patiently, for He will come in due time…and that time is near!

The hope of His coming should cause us to walk a certain way! Romans 13:12-14 says: 12 The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let’s rid ourselves of the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let’s behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and debauchery, not in strife and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. As followers of Jesus, our desire is to emulate Him…to “put Him on” as simply as one wears clothes. For those who trust Him, there is the hope of heaven. What do you want your WALK to look like as we approach that appointed time?

God has plans for those who trust Him, and there is a reason Jesus has not yet returned. There is work to be done! Just as the young boy, Jesus, had to be about His Father’s business (Luke 2:49), so we too must be about our Father’s business. The admonition is repeated in Luke 19:13 when, in a parable, Jesus explained why servants must do the business of the nobleman while he is away. When our nobleman, Jesus, returns, will He say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” There is WORK to do while we wait.

Finally, we must wake up to what is happening in our world and realize how close we may be to the appointed time of His coming. If we back up a single verse in the Romans passage above, we read this in Romans 13:11-12: 11 Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we first believed. 12 The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let’s rid ourselves of the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Now is the hour. The night is almost gone and the appointed day is near! Friend, are you awake? Revival in the hearts of God’s people is the only thing that can change anything. God relented when Nineveh repented, and He could do the same in our land. But we must WAKE UP in order to provide a means in which God could work in our midst. He will not work in dead and dying hearts that are not committed to Him.

In this new year, I make it my mission to watch, wait, walk, work and wake up. The 5 W’s. (Also to be considered as “wins!”) What about you? Will you be a 5-time winner in 2021!?!

If you do not know Jesus personally, none of this makes sense. You will be hopeless and ill-equipped to handle what the world throws at you as we dive headlong into these last days. The appointed day of Jesus’ return for us is near and you don’t want to miss it. God’s Word promises eternal peace and security in the presence of the Lord for those who know Him. But for those who don’t, you face the tribulation (“hell on earth”) and eternal burning and separation from God forever and ever in darkness and torment (the real hell).

You can know Jesus today! I borrowed much of the narrative above from old study notes of a Billy Graham teaching, and his legacy lives on through his family. They have created a website, PeacewithGod.net, that will gently guide you through what it means to know Jesus personally. If you need to speak with someone or ask questions, they offer that as well. Whoever you are and wherever you are, I am praying for you! There is an incredible opportunity just waiting for you to meet Jesus. It is the most important decision of your life. Make it today!

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